Keynotes and Speakers: 2010 AIC

Open Arms, Open Minds:

The Ethics of Adoption in the 21st Century

October 14-16th 2010


Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 9:00am

David Smolin, J.D.

David M. Smolin is Professor of Law, Cumberland Law School, Samford University; Director of the Center for Biotechnology, Law, and Ethics; and the Harwell G. Davis Professor of Constitutional Law.    He has published over 35 articles, been the primary author/co-author of amicus curiae briefs in significant United States Supreme Court cases, and submitted written and/or oral testimony before two U.S. Congressional Committees and legislative committees in five states.   Most of his scholarly articles related to adoption are available at   On adoption issues he has written for the New York Times and frequently serves as a background or quoted source for the  media.   He most recently presented on adoption issues at the Korean Women’s Development Institute in Seoul, Korea; the Second International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies in Seoul, Korea,; and (as an independent expert) at the Hague Special Commission on the Practical Operation of the Hague Adoption Convention.    He works together with his wife, Desiree Smolin, on analysis and reform of adoption systems and practices.

Friday, October 15, 2010 at 12:30pm

Trevor Jordan

Trevor L. Jordan, PhD, is a late-discovery adoptee and President of Jigsaw Queensland Post-adoption Centre. He is a Visiting Fellow at Griffith University and the Queensland University of Technology, where he was until recently Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics in the School of Humanities and Human Services. He has a special interest in ethics and adoption.

Keynote Panelists

Racial Politics and the “Business” of Domestic Private Adoption (Panel)-

Friday, October 15, 2010 at 9:00am

Beth Hall

Beth Hall is an adoption educator who, co-founded Pact, An Adoption Alliance, which is a multicultural adoption organization dedicated to addressing essential issues affecting adopted children of color. Pact offers lifelong support and placement services for birth and adoptive families with adopted kids of color. A national speaker, she is also the author of numerous articles and a book, Inside Transracial Adoption, which is filled with personal stories, practical suggestions, and theory, and delivers the message that race matters, racism is alive, and families built transracially can develop strong and binding ties.

Commitment to family is a way of life for Beth. She is the white adoptive mom of two young adults: Sofia, Latina, and James, African American. Beth grew up a member of an adoptive family—her sister, Barbara, was adopted. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband and children, when they are home from college.

Ms. Hall enjoyed a first career as a researcher in the fields of molecular genetics and blood chemistry research. From 1978-1990 she was a head research technician and ran a lab in molecular biology. From l991-l993 Ms. Hall was an active volunteer serving on the Board of RESOLVE of Northern California, Inc., a chapter in the US network of organizations serving the fertility-impaired and in l992-93 served as President of the Board of Directors.

Joe Kroll
Joe Kroll, an adoptive and birth father, became involved with NACAC in 1975 and has served as NACAC’s executive director since 1985. As executive director, Joe has taken NACAC from a small grassroots organization to a acclaimed nonprofit that serves thousands of adoptive parents each year and strives to improve the child welfare system for foster children and the families who care for them.

A passionate advocate for children, Joe is committed to achieving NACAC’s mission that every child deserves a permanent, loving, and culturally sensitive family. Joe’s work includes talking with individual families about how to obtain post-adoption support, to training parent group leaders and other foster and adoptive parents, to testifying before Congress and speaking at the White House to achieve needed system reforms to better serve vulnerable children and families. He remains committed to achieving system reform by building a network of adoptive families at the grassroots level. By bringing together parents, professionals, and policy makers for more than two decades at NACAC, Joe has significantly improved the lives of adoptive families throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Ethical Issues Surrounding International Adoption (Panel)-

Friday, October 15, 2010 at 3:15pm

Susan Branco Alvarado, LPC, PLLC

Ms. Branco Alvarado is a Licensed Professional Counselor, adopted person from Colombia, SA, and mother. She developed her specialty private psychotherapeutic practice in 2004 from two days a week to a thriving full time business. Her successes include serving hundreds of families in the prevention and or treatment of adoption and foster care related issues, trauma, attachment related disorders, and other mental health symptoms. Her research has been published in a graduate level textbook on adoption mental health policies and practices, she has presented nationally on topics related to adoption, has been frequently featured in adoption related monthly publications, and participated in a psycho-educational DVD released internationally in regard to transracial and international adoption. Susan has worked with the Barker Foundation, a DC area adoption agency, to co-lead adopted children’s groups, Teen Weekends, and the Colombia Homeland Tour. In addition to these activities she serves as a consultant to Virginia Tech’s Department of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Susan Cox

Susan Soonkeum Cox has worked with international adoption and child welfare issues for more than twenty-five years. Adopted from Korea in 1956, her life experience as an early international adoptee gives her a unique and personal perspective.
Susan has been a leader in national and international adoption policy initiatives for more than twenty-five years. She was the only adoptee representative at the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, and regularly testifies before Congress regarding adoption and child welfare issues. Susan was a pioneer in adoptee outreach and in 1999 founded the International Gathering of Korean Adoptees.

In 1988 Susan was appointed by government of Korea to be the U.S. spokesperson for Korean adoption, and has contributed to numerous stories about adoption. Some of her appearances include the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “Australia Today”, CNN, CBS Evening News, Inside Politics, C-Span Washington Journal. She has authored articles for numerous national and international publications, and is editor of the anthology, “Voices from Another Place”.

Susan was invited as a special guest to attend Korea’s 60th Anniversary celebration in Seoul; presented at the Global Political Forum in Korea; and was appointed Honorary Citizen of Seoul by then Korean Mayor Lee, Myung Bak.

Ms. Cox was appointed to the first White House Commission on Asian Pacific Islanders and some of her current and past board memberships include:

Adoption Advisory Committee of Child Welfare League of America, Ethics & Practice committee of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, The Center for Family Connections, The Joint Council on International Children’s Services, Kinship Alliance, Women’s Campaign International, The Center for Adoption Support and Education, International Concerns Committee for Children, also-known-as, the MAVIN Foundation, and the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid for the US Agency for International Development.

Amy Fjellman

Amy Fjellman was adopted from Guatemala as an infant. Her interest for adoption began when she studied at the University of Minnesota. During her time as an undergraduate, she studied under Dr. Harold Grotevant with the Minnesota Texas Adoption Research Project. Her research project was on adoptive identity and how it relates to engagement with birth family. Soon after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Family Social Science, she began her career at Children’s Home Society & Family Services as an International Adoption Specialist. She assisted families through the adoption process from Ethiopia. Alongside her primary duty, she was the staff liaison for the Resource Committee of Adopted Adults.

Amy now works at The University of Minnesota at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs but is still very connected to adoption. She co-facilitates a support group for international and transracial adopted adults supported by Adoptees Have Answers. Amy also co-manages a folkloric Guatemalan dance program called Las Niñas del Quetzal. Most of the participants in the group are adoptive families and she enjoys being able to teach them about Guatemalan culture. Amy has participated on numerous panels, led webinars for adoptive families and mentors children adopted from Guatemala.

Amber Stime

Amber Stime, the Executive Director and Founder of African Cradle, is an Ethiopian adoptee who lost both of her hands in a land mine accident as a toddler and was placed in an orphanage to receive medical care.  At the age of eight, she was adopted by an American couple and grew up in Minnesota. After receiving her Masters Degree in social work, Amber worked in the adoption field for six years before returning to Ethiopia to start a center for orphaned children.
Working tirelessly for the past twenty-two years, Amber is a recognized leader in multi-cultural adoption and has received numerous awards for her outstanding dedication to children and families.  Amber has participated in and been the keynote speaker for many adoption conferences and multi-racial families, workshops.  Amber’s warmth, patience and skill in navigating the intricacies of international adoption have earned her the respect of all who work with her.

Ethical Issues Surrounding Adoption in the Media Panel-

Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 10:00am

Kate Snow

Kate Snow joined NBC News in May 2010 as a correspondent for “Dateline NBC.” Previously, Snow was the anchor of the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” since the show launched in September 2004. Based at ABC News’ headquarters in New York, she also contributed to various ABC News broadcasts as a correspondent, frequently reporting for “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”

A political junkie with a deep interest in world events, Snow covered a wide range of stories for ABC News. She was one of the first ABC News correspondents on the ground in Haiti after the devastating earthquake there and covered everything from search and rescue efforts to incredible stories of survival.

Over the years, Snow has reported on stories from the economy to immigration, medical advances to Oscar fashions, energy policy to Katrina evacuees. She has traveled to remote Africa, covered conflict in Lebanon and hiked the Badlands for “Good Morning America’s” “Seven Wonders” series. And Snow has conducted exclusive interviews with newsmakers from President Barack Obama to billionaire Richard Branson, from Senator Ted Kennedy to Beyonce and Bono.

Snow has covered several presidential elections in her career. In 2008, she covered the campaign of Hillary Clinton from start to finish. For some eighteen months, Snow did double duty as a weekend anchor and the lead correspondent on that campaign during the week. She also covered the Democratic convention in Denver and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s bid for the vice presidency. In the summer of 2008, Snow landed the first interview with former President Bill Clinton in the wake of his wife’s failed White House run. In 2004, she was the first network correspondent to travel with Sen. John Kerry during his campaign for the White House and she also covered President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign that year.

Snow joined ABC News in July 2003 as “Good Morning America’s” White House correspondent. In the summer of 2004 she moved to New York to launch the weekend broadcast.

Before joining ABC News, Snow was a correspondent with CNN. She covered the Sept. 11 attacks from the rooftop of a church near the U.S. Capitol, was the first television journalist on the scene of the anthrax attacks and spent weeks covering the 2000 recount in Florida. Prior to her Washington assignment, Snow was based in Atlanta with CNN Newsource. In that role, she covered the Kosovo conflict from Albania and Macedonia.

Snow began her news career as a reporter with KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., where she also anchored the station’s weekend morning show. She has also worked for National Public Radio and NBC Radio.

Snow was part of the ABC News coverage team to be recognized with the distinguished duPont Columbia University Award for her coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005. She is also the recipient of a Cornell University Alumni Achievement Award.

Snow is a graduate of Cornell and holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. She serves on the national board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Snow and her husband, Chris Bro, have two children.

Susan Caughman

Susan Caughman is Founder and CEO of New Hope Media, a special interest publishing company providing online and print information to families in the communities of adoption and attention deficit disorder. Adoptive Families Magazine, the annual Adoption Guide, and the Adoptive Families website have received numerous editorial awards and reach over 500,000 readers each month. ADDitude magazine, ADDitude online, and the ADDitude e-newsletters reach almost a million adults and families parenting children with ADHD with useful and inspirational information each month.

A veteran publishing executive, Caughman served in a number of senior executive positions during her career at Time Warner, including Senior Vice President for Consumer Marketing, circulation and general management positions at LIFE and Time magazines. She began her publishing career at Newsweek International. .A native of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Caughman holds an M.B.A. from Yale’s School of Management and a B.A. from Middlebury College.

Earlier in her career, Caughman served for a number of years in international economic development and non-profit management. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, she served rural families with basic health education. As program director for the American Friends Service Committee, Caughman launched a variety of income generating activities for rural women in four countries in West Africa. Later, as one of the earliest adopters from China, Caughman was instrumental in the foundation of Families with Children from China, a national support group of over 50,000 families.

Caughman has served on the board of directors of the Direct Marketing Association, Adoptive Families of America, and Families with Children from China. She lives in New York City with her husband Gerry Goodrich and their daughters Hope (age 18) and Charlotte (age 23).

Sandra Patton Imani, Ph.D.

Sandra Patton-Imani is an Associate Professor of American Studies at Drake University, where she has taught Sociology and Women’s Studies for the past nine years. She received her B.A. in American Studies and Radio/TV/Film from California State University Fullerton.  She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park.  She is the author of the book BirthMarks:  Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America (New York University Press, 2000) as well as a number of articles on issues concerning adoption and race.  She has an essay forthcoming drawing on qualitative research she conducted with birth mothers in Korea and Korean adoptees in the U.S.   Her current research focuses on lesbian mothers and their children, and will result in both a documentary and a book. She is currently completing the documentary, Red Light, Green Light:  Family Values, Family Pride, created collaboratively with her wife Melanie Patton-Imani.  Drawing on interviews with over one hundred lesbian mothers in various geographic regions, the book, Sophie Has Five Mothers, explores the role of the state in legitimating family in the contemporary United States.  In it she considers the complexities of adoption in relation to lesbians—single parent adoptions, dual parents adoptions, and second parent adoptions.

Sandra was adopted by an infant and has been interested in questions concerning identity and family throughout her entire life.  She lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her wife Melanie and their six-year-old twins, Pascal and Ajani.

David Crary

David Crary is a journalist with The Associated Press, currently based in New York City with a beat covering national social issues.

A native of New Haven, Conn., he is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He joined the AP in 1976, and worked in Jackson, Miss., and Denver, Colo., before a stint as an editor on AP’s foreign desk in New York.

He headed overseas in 1985, covering East Africa from a base in Nairobi, Kenya, and then moving to Johannesburg to cover South Africa from 1987 to 1990, coordinating AP’s coverage of anti-apartheid unrest and Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

He served as AP’s news editor in Paris from 1990-95, a period during which he served eight tours of duty in Sarajevo while the Bosnian capital was under siege. He was AP’s bureau chief in Canada from 1995-99 before transferring back to New York to become a national writer.

Among his current areas of coverage are the child-welfare system, gay rights and same-sex marriage, military families, abortion, adoption and gender issues. He’s also been part of AP’s coverage team at six Olympic Games and at the recent soccer World Cup in South Africa.

Nate Bae Kupel

Nathan Bae Kupel is the creator and author of The Korean Adoptee Nexus, a blog and resource for Korean and Asian adoptees. He currently works at the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is the President of Boston Korean Adoptees, Inc.  He is a trainer with an Asian American anti-racism training program in Boston and has facilitated numerous trainings that focus on racial identity formation for Asian adoptees. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ethical Issues in Adoption Research (Panel)-

Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm

David Brodzinsky, Ph.D.

David Brodzinsky, Ph.D. is Research and Project Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York City and Professor Emeritus of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Rutgers University.  For the past three decades, his research and scholarly writing has focused primarily on issues related to the adjustment of adopted children and their families.  He is especially well known for his research on developmental and family issues in adoption.  Dr. Brodzinsky recently relocated to Oakland, CA, where he maintains a private clinical and consultative practice focusing on the mental health needs of members of the adoption kinship system.  He has been a consultant to countless public and private adoption agencies and has conducted training workshops on adoption and foster care throughout North America and Europe.  He has published widely on the psychology of adoption in professional journals and is the co-author or co-editor of five books on adoption, including The Psychology of Adoption (1990), Being Adopted:  The Lifelong Search for Self (1992), Children’s Adjustment to Adoption:  Developmental and Clinical Issues (1998), Adoption and Prenatal Drug Exposure: Research, Policy and Practice (2000), and Psychological Issues in Adoption:  Research and Practice (2005).  A sixth co-edited book, Gay and Lesbian Adoption:  A New American Reality is in preparation.

Jean A. Howard, Ph.D.

Jeanne Howard, PhD, is Policy and Research Director for the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and Professor Emerita in the School of Social Work at Illinois State University.  She has conducted research on child welfare issues for 25 years, primarily in the area of adoption of children from foster care.  With colleague Susan Smith she is co-author of two books (/Promoting Successful Adoptions: Practice with Troubled Families/ and /After Adoption: The Needs of Adopted Youth)/ as well as book chapters and articles in professional journals.  She and Smith were honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the area of applied research, receiving the Adoption Excellence 2002 award, and also received an “Angel in Adoption” award for research from the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Her current work examines stress and coping in struggling adoptive families, as well as identity issues among adopted adults.

Adam Pertman

Adam Pertman is the Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national nonprofit that is the pre-eminent research, policy and education organization in its field. Pertman is also the Associate Editor of Adoption Quarterly, the premier research journal dealing with adoption and foster care. And he is the author of the groundbreaking Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America, which has been reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject.” In addition, he is the author of many chapters and articles on adoption- and family-related issues in books, scholarly journals and mass-market publications.

Pertman has delivered hundreds of keynotes, trainings and other presentations in this country and internationally for organizations including the Child Welfare League of America, the American Adoption Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, the National Association of Child Advocates, and numerous professionals including judges, social workers, psychiatrists, educators and journalists – as well as pre-adoptive and adoptive parents, birthparents and adopted persons. Pertman’s commentaries on families and children have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald and on National Public Radio, among others. Articles about him, his book and his role at the Adoption Institute (as well as about the Institute’s work) have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines nationwide, including the New York Times and People. As one of the country’s leading experts on adoption and family issues, Pertman is widely quoted in the media and has been a guest on many radio and television programs, including “Oprah,” “Today” and “Nightline.”

Pertman was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about adoption in The Boston Globe. His other honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Adoption Council, an Angel in Adoption award from the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute; the Special Friend of Children Award from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; the Dave Thomas Center for Adoption Law’s first award for “the nation’s greatest contributor to public understanding about adoption and permanency placement issues;” the Friend of Children Award from the ODS Adoption Community of New England; a Family Builder Award from the American Fertility Assn., the Century Foundation’s prestigious Leonard Silk Journalism Award; the President’s Award from the African American Cultural Council of Virginia; the Year 2000 Journalism Award from Holt International Children’s Services; and the American Adoption Congress’ first award for the journalist who most informed the nation on adoption issues and “for his eloquent witnessing of contemporary adoption.”

Before embarking on his current career, Pertman was a senior journalist with The Boston Globe for more than two decades. His jobs included foreign editor, Washington news editor, diplomatic correspondent, national political correspondent, family and children’s issues reporter, and restaurant reviewer. His assignments included the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Philippine revolution, the Gulf War, the Mideast peace process, the O.J. Simpson trials, and several presidential elections. He is a member of the Council on Contemporary Families, the editorial advisory board of Adoptive Families magazine, and the National Adoption Advisory Committee of the Child Welfare League of America.He and his wife, Judy Baumwoll, live in Massachusetts with their two children: Zachary, 15, and Emilia, 12.

Susan Livingston Smith

Susan Livingston Smith is Program and Project Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and a Professor Emerita of the School of Social Work at Illinois State University. She has been a leading researcher in the field of post-adoption services for the past 20 years. Smith and her research partner, Jeanne Howard, have conducted many adoption research studies and program evaluations. They have co-authored two books on adoption, Promoting Successful Adoptions: Practice with Troubled Families (1999) and After Adoption: The Needs of Adopted Youth (2003) as well as over 15 journal articles, several book chapters, and numerous scholarly monographs. Together, they were given the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for their work in applied scholarship and research. In 2006 Susan received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award.

Film Makers and Adoption (Panel) –

Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 6:30pm

Deann Borshay Liem

Deann Borshay Liem has over twenty years experience working in development, production and distribution of independent documentaries.  She is Producer, Director, and Writer for the Emmy Award-nominated documentary, First Person Plural (Sundance, 2000), and Executive Producer for Spencer Nakasako’s Kelly Loves Tony (PBS, 1998) and AKA Don Bonus (PBS, 1996, Emmy Award). She served as Co-Producer for Special Circumstances (PBS, 2009) which follows Chilean exile, Hector Salgado, as he attempts to reconcile with former interrogators and torturers in Chile.  She was the former director of the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) where she supervised the development, distribution and broadcast of new films for public television and worked with Congress to support minority representation in public media.  A Sundance Institute Fellow and a recipient of a Rockefeller Film/Video Fellowship, Deann is the Director, Producer and Writer of the new feature-length documentary, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee.

Stephanie Wang-Breal

Bio Coming Soon.

Sharese Bullock Bailey

Sharese is the Producer of “Off and Running,” a feature documentary and co-production of The Independent Television Service with support from The Foundation for JewishCulture and The National Black Programming Consortium, airing on PBS in 2010. She has led service and international education programs, including filmmaking /animation training for young producers throughout the United Kingdom with the “Experiment in International Living” (2005, 2006) and India with Adobe Youth Voices (2006). Bullock also

led the multi-platform outreach and distribution for “Youth Speak Out on Education” (PBS, 2004) and Beyond Borders (Independent Film Channel/Peabody Award, 2006). She currently serves as a new media strategist/producer for The Young Peoples Project,
a national math literacy and social change network. She serves on the board of directors for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and the Advisory Board for the University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia at Temple University. Sharese received a BA in Communications at The University of Pennsylvania, and then developed a broad financial skill set through the Financial
Analyst program at Goldman Sachs upon graduation.
Sharese lives in Brooklyn and works as a new media educator, producer and strategic consultant supporting the creative and philanthropic sectors.

Eliza Licht

Eliza oversees the development and implementation of POV’s national community engagement and education campaigns. She works with public television stations, educators, and community-based organizations to present community screenings of POV films and to develop and distribute accompanying educational resource materials to teachers nationwide. Over the years, she has expanded POV’s community engagement activities by nearly 400% and increased POV’s educational efforts by over 80%. To further develop these areas, Eliza established a Library Board and a Teachers’ Advisory Board, which provide feedback on activities and help produce POV’s companion resource materials. Before joining POV in 2001, she traveled extensively in Spain and Mexico, teaching English as a foreign language. Eliza is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University.

Phil Bertelson

Bio Coming Soon.

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